Sealy learns critical lessons from Tropical Storm Bill

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An emergency operations center can't operate if it's underwater. That's the main lesson officials learned from Bill (KTRK)

Tropical Storm Bill dumped more than 9 inches of rain on the city of Sealy Wednesday, flooding the road leading to the police station.

Officers had to rush to move their vehicles as the water rose quickly in the parking lot.

"It was a river rushing through here, no question," Chief Bruce Mills said.

The police station serves as the city's designated emergency operations center.

"You're dead in the water, no pun intended, if you can't get to the building that's designed to deal with the emergency," Mills said.

Emergency crews gathered at the nearby fire station instead. Luckily, no police cars were damaged.

Between Wednesday's rain and the Memorial Day Flooding, agencies across the area have learned a few lessons the hard way.

In the city of Houston, 16 city-owned vehicles were damaged in the Memorial Day flood after someone didn't deploy the flood gate in a parking area. The Harris County Sheriff's Office lost 10 patrol cars because no one could find the keys. Both agencies have better plans in place now.

Social media proved to be extremely useful for Brazoria and Matagorda emergency response teams. A spokesman for Brazoria county said posting to Facebook is faster than posting to their main website.

According to Chief Mills, the mayor of Sealy and the city manager are on board with fixing the police flooding problem.

"They've placed it on the agenda for our next Tuesday night council meeting," Mills said, "to engage an engineer to begin the preliminary work of, 'What's the solution.'"

In the meantime, he's hoping for drier days.
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